Pest Identification – Cockroaches

Cockroaches are known to be resilient pests. While they can’t exactly survive a nuclear war, they can withstand quite a lot. They survive in various extreme climates around the world, so our local temperatures in Northern California and Nevada are actually right in their sweet spot. As for the frequent days of high humidity, that’s just another thing they love most in this climate: Moisture is an extreme attractant for roaches.

A symbol of unsanitary conditions and health code violations, cockroaches are the last thing you want in your home. They infest food items and spread diseases, putting you, your family, and your customers at risk. While there are thousands of species of cockroaches in the world that impart varying risks, these are the ones you’re likely to find in our area:

Types of Cockroaches in Northern California and Nevada

German Cockroach

German cockroaches only grow to just over half an inch in length. Although they do have wings, they are more likely to glide than actually fly. Varying in color from tan to black, these roaches do have two small, dark stripes between their head and wings. More sensitive to the cold, German cockroaches can only survive in human structures, especially during colder months.

Due to their smaller size, German cockroaches are able to hide in tiny cracks and crevices. They’re extremely adaptive, and some strains of German cockroaches have learned to evade certain chemical pesticides and sugar baits. Because of this, a professional pest control technician is your best bet to eliminate German cockroaches from your home or business.

Turkestan Cockroach

At one inch in length, female Turkestan roaches are larger than males. They are typically dark brown or black, with cream-colored spots on their sides and behind their heads. Males are lighter in color, either brownish-orange or red, and have longer wings that enable them to fly. In fact, though they spend most of their time outdoors, the majority of Turkestan cockroaches found indoors in Northern California and Northern Nevada are males attracted by bright lights.

While originally from arid climates like central Asia and the Middle East, Turkestan cockroaches have spread to the United States because they are the preferred live food for local reptile breeders. They are still a threat to spread contamination among homes and businesses, but their infestations are much easier to spot – just look for the males buzzing around bright lights after dark.

Brown-Banded Cockroach

As its name suggests, the brown-banded cockroach has two light yellow to pale brown bands across its body. They have wings, though a female’s wings are much shorter, so only the male brown-banded cockroaches can fly. This species is only slightly larger the German cockroach, averaging a length of 5/8 of an inch.

These roaches are active and will jump when disturbed, although they avoid the light and are rarely seen during the day. Because they require less moisture than German cockroaches, they are typically more widespread, infesting any area in a dwelling including: behind loose wallpaper, inside electronics, near the ceiling, and anywhere else they can hide. As a result, brown-banded cockroaches are very hard to control, and should be taken care of by professional pest control technicians.

American Cockroach

The American cockroach is one of the biggest species of roaches, measuring up to an inch and a half in length. But despite their large size, American cockroaches can fit under doors, appliances, and in small cracks to hide from humans. They are reddish brown in color and do have the ability to fly.

More commonly found in commercial spaces like restaurants and supermarkets, American cockroaches are also known for traveling through sewage pipes to infest homes. Because they are extremely fast – with speeds that, when scaled up, are comparable to a human running over 300 mph – they are tricky to spot and treat on your own.

Oriental Cockroach

With a dark brown or black glossy body, the Oriental cockroach is quite different from other common cockroaches. Approximately twice the size of a German cockroach, this species is typically over an inch in length. With a reputation for being the filthiest of the roaches, they prefer cool, dark, and moist habitats: beneath refrigerators, washing machines, leaky pipes, etc.

Despite moving more slowly than other roaches, Oriental cockroaches can be harder to get rid of than most. They remain well-hidden during the day and in areas you’re unlikely to check frequently. While some treatments do work on these cockroaches, because of their tendency to prefer moist places, the treatments can wash away and lead to re-infestation. A consistent, professional approach is needed to fully eradicate Oriental cockroaches.

Cockroach Control with Advanced IPM

Cockroaches are elusive pests. They adapt to pest control measures and hide out of sight. At Advanced IPM, we know the consequences of cockroaches: filth and health risks. To protect your home and business, we employ thorough inspections and proven treatments. You can rely on our advanced knowledge and local experience with area cockroaches. Contact us today for your free pest control quote.